Prosperity Zone

Próspera

This Honduran Zone for Economic Development and Employment is designed to be a “platform for prosperity”, offering to realize the country’s full potential for growth and innovation.

Location

Roatán, Honduras

Residents

~20

Businesses

n/a

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Language

Spanish, English

Climate

Tropical

Key Industries

Financial Services, Remote Work

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Overview

Legal Status

Current Situation

How to Move in

How to Invest

Overview

Próspera is one of the most advanced ZEDE (Zone for Economic Development and Employment) projects in Honduras. It is financed by various high-profile investors and venture capital firms and has important partnerships with companies like Ernst & Young and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Próspera aims to become a hub for entrepreneurship and business, creating new opportunities and ideas that will have a positive impact not only on Honduras but also internationally. To achieve this, the project follows a common law legal framework that brings familiar and flexible regulations, low taxation, and assures environmental protection.

Businesses registered in Próspera can choose the regulatory regime they would like to comply with out of a list of selected developed countries or Honduras. Alternatively, they can operate under their own set of regulations; however, all businesses must have liability insurance and acquiring coverage for operations under customized regulations might become expensive. Such an option exposes one’s business to tripled liability for damages.

Legal Status

Próspera was established on the basis of the ZEDE law, which provides for a certain degree of fiscal and regulatory independence. In exchange for partial autonomy, 12% of the taxes collected in Próspera go to the Honduran government. Próspera remains bound by the Honduran constitution and its criminal law code.

The ZEDE law was repealed by the Honduran National Congress in April 2022. While this means that no new ZEDEs can be established, the existing ZEDEs, including Próspera, will continue to be operational for the foreseeable future. Despite the repeal, Próspera representatives are confident that its legal status should remain unchanged for the next 50 years.

Próspera has attracted the attention of a number of diplomats wishing to establish possible business relations. Representatives of the UK and Germany visited Próspera in 2021 to assess and explore possible opportunities.

The Próspera jurisdiction has been increasing its land area through land purchases and by existing landowners voluntarily incorporating their properties into Próspera.

Current Situation

Próspera’s e–residency platform ePróspera is fully operational and individuals can use it to start and operate Próspera-based companies.

Próspera regularly hosts outreach and networking events such as job fairs or the Build Próspera Summit that took place in April 2022, attended by representatives of a number of high-profile firms such as BCG, UNICEF and Facebook.

A “Beta Building” was build in Próspera, and now operates mainly as a hostel and co-working space. The first residential building to be constructed in Próspera, Duna Residences, has already pre-sold half of its units. It will include 80 apartments and, construction having started in October 2021, it is expected to be finished in October 2022. A woodworking factory located in Próspera is also being built. Zaha Hadid Architects-designed residential project called Beyabu is also expected to break ground soon, with first units becoming available in 2023.

Próspera has launched the Roatán International Financial Center (RIFC), a jurisdiction that aims to enable expansive financial services without the burden of outdated regulatory difficulties while complying with global KYC/AML standards. Seshat Bank, the first Próspera-based bank, is expected to launch later in 2022.

How to Move in

Próspera’s own residency and immigration system represents an additional layer on top of the broader Honduran system. Therefore, before applying for Próspera residency, prospective movers need to obtain a residency permit or a work visa from the Honduran state. A residency permit can be obtained in several ways, including by establishing a company or making investments in Honduras. See official sources for further details.

Individuals who have the right to remain in Honduras and wish to become physical residents of Próspera will need to sign the city’s Agreement of Coexistence and pay a fee of 260 USD (for Hondurans) or 1,300 USD (for foreigners).

Besides physical residency, Próspera also offers e-residency status which enables one to set up Próspera-based businesses and operate them remotely. Such firms can benefit from Próspera’s low-tax and flexible-regulation framework. This digital platform, ePróspera, has been developed by the experts behind the world’s first and longest-running e-residency program in Estonia.

How to Invest

Próspera offers many investment opportunities and Próspera’s representatives help potential investors to find the option that suits them best.

In early 2022, Próspera partnered with Securitize to tokenize investment into either Honduras Próspera, Inc. or the St. John’s Bay Development Company which acquires land where new developments in Próspera can be built.

Investment has been pouring into Próspera from abroad, as an announcement in April 2022 stated that a new USD 60 million had been raised and will be allocated into real estate infrastructure and other projects.

In April 2022, the jurisdiction also enabled its businesses to issue bonds in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to source foreign investment more easily.

Free City Functional Elements

Business and Commercial Autonomy

Substantial

What does this mean? Business and Commercial Autonomy refers to the City's powers to regulate business and commercial law at its own discretion. This includes labor law, building law, local environmental regulations, company law, and legal tender laws.

Financial and Social Autonomy

Partial

What does this mean? Financial and Social Autonomy refers to the City's powers to establish its own tax, customs, and social regime, independent of the regulations of the Host State.

Property Rights Autonomy

Substantial

What does this mean? Property Rights Autonomy referes to the City's powers to set its own rules for the acquisition of property, including real estate, and whether property titles thus obtained are recognized by the Host State.

Criminal Justice Autonomy

None

What does this mean? Criminal Justice Autonomy refers to the City's powers to set its own criminal justice code, which applies within the city limits, independent of the Host State.

Internal Affairs Autonomy

Partial

What does this mean? Internal Affairs Autonomy means that Host State and its organs may not interfere in the internal affairs of the City, its inhabitants, or businesses, and that the Host State’s law enforcement staff are not allowed to enter the City in an official capacity without the City’s approval.

Migratory Autonomy

Partial

What does this mean? Migratory Autonomy referes to the City's powers to expel unwanted persons or deny them entry, even if they are citizens of the Host State. It also includes whether the City may issue residency, work, and visitor visas at its own discretion, and whether visas issued by the Host State are not required for entry into the City.

Self-governance

Substantial

What does this mean? Self-governance signifies whether justice, law enforcement, and administration are carried out under the City’s own control and by its own staff.

Status Guarantee

Partial

What does this mean? Status Guarantee refers to whether the special legal status of the City is guaranteed by the Host State for a long period of time (ideally 99 years or longer).

Investor Protection

Substantial

What does this mean? Investor Protection signifies whether all investments made in the City are subject to guaranteed special investor protection contractually set between the City and the Host State.

Get Involved

Próspera is looking for potential residents and businesses, both Honduran and foreign.